United President Quashes Rumors He Might Jump Back to American Airlines

July 21, 2019

When Manchester United hired President Scott Kirby in 2016, the move was accompanied by a one-month request to leave the same position on rival American Airlines. In recent weeks, the industry has said that Americans have changed their minds. Can American Kirby come back, maybe replace the long-time CEO of Doug Parker?

Kirby’s goal was to eliminate rumors through comments made at the ARC (Airline Reporting Company) conference in Fort Lee, Virginia. Kirby said he intends to stay in United, where he reports directly to CEO Oscar Munoz and oversees operations, marketing, revenue management and network planning.

“I made a promise to Oscar,” Kirby said. “Oscar is big enough to give me the opportunity to take me to United, and Oscar and United Airlines will be my place to end my career.”

Kirby made the comments in an interview with Holly Hegeman, publisher of the newsletter PlaneBusiness Banter. Hegeman has contributed to some rumors in a recent article, and she said in the article that the industry “will soon see a major restructuring of the US management team.”

Kirby will not comment on the rumors, but will only stay on his career track. Kirby said: “I believe in the importance of loyalty, which is undoubtedly deeply rooted in me during my service to the Air Force Academy.”

In 2016, Kirby said the biggest surprise of his career. In the late spring, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said he planned to retire and he hoped that Kirby would succeed him. Three months later, Parker walked into the office and read a piece of paper that Kirby said, which Kobe needed to transition out of the Americans.